Repurposing Elemental Content
Elemental and FE has a lot of good content - a back story, races, creatures, encounter areas that must be cleared, - dragons, spiders, elementals and overland maps.
If I was developing an RPG at Stardock I would seriously consider using this content to dramatically speed up product development and allow for a richer unique environment.
I would base the core mechanics of the RPG on the Pathfinder 3.5 Open Gaming License and enhance it with Elemental specific content. This gives you a ready made base system for tactical combat, weapons use and skill based on the most popular RPG system in the world. Yes, I know that some people don't like this system; however, this system is far more popular than the other RPG systems in the marketplace.
"The Burning Lands. Delin the Pyre of Man is an Elemental Lord. He was first witnessed when he rose out of the ashes of Anniellum, where 200,000 perished when a volcano exploded during the cataclysm. He remains in the region surrounded by various fire creatures. To clear the Burning Lands Delin must be killed.
We also have the Ruins of the Imperium, the Pits of Namtur, the Lombard Desert and many more"
Elemental presuposes the land coming back to life, so what if the SD RPG incorporated this theme. How? You start in a village with a dry river bed surrounded by parched dry lands with apparantly dead trees. During the course of an adventure to release the waters held within a crater lake. When you next return to the village a river flows through the formerly dry riverbead and the land are a verdant green covered with grass and green trees. Before = Barren, After = Verdant.
Elemental also supposes that magic can change the environment. So what if the lands started out lush. Then an evil mage gained control of a blue ice crystal. This turns all the maps to a realm of snow and ice. IF the adventurers can find and destroy this blue ice crystal the lands the snow & ice will vanish from the lands and the lush green forests will return.
Thus a village might have 3 maps: Barren, Verdant, Winter with snow and ice. Which one a player encounters changes based on the state of the gaming world and their actions.
E and FE have several ethnic groups of men; such as the Ironeers, Mancers, Tarthans and several character races; Men, Trogs, Wraiths, Urxen and Quendar. So give players a choice of races unique to elemental;
- Men (Mancer)
- Men (Tarthan)
- Men (Ironeer) - Bonus: Weapon Smithing Feat, Weapon Smithing is a class skill
- Men (Altarian)
- Men (Krax)
- Trog - Bonus: +2 Strength, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma as Trogs are stronger than most races
Note that the core Pathfinder open gaming license rules (built on the D&D 3.5 rules) are open source are available to all developers to use. Developers are allowed to use the mechanics of the OGL rules but no specific Gaming World IP. Ie. You can't create or reference Neverwinter Nights or Greyhawk; however, but you can create World of Elemental using the OGL.